From Egypt Today last month:
A world peace forum will be held in Saint Catherine city in South Sinai in September, said Awqaf Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa on Sunday.
Gomaa made the announcement following a meeting with South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda.
They agreed to organize the gathering to promote tourism in general and religious tourism in particular, said Gomaa.
The annual forum is a religious message of peace to the whole world, he added.
The minister reiterated that terrorism has no relation with all religions.
This sounds great.
But the organizers want to also invite Jews, and that is not so easy.
Ahmed Mustafa, representative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, met with the Committee on Religious Affairs and Endowments in the House of Representatives to discuss the preparations for the forum Forum, where he suggested inviting Jews to participate.
He may have been referring only to the few remaining Egyptian Jews, but that is not clear – the point of the peace forum is to encourage tourism.
In response, Major General Khaled Fouda, Governor of South Sinai, responded that before any Jews would be allowed to visit he would have to coordinate matters with the security authorities to ensure the safety of all the participants.
Members of other religions do not cause security concerns to the authorities – but Jews do. Not because the Jews are going to disrupt the conference, but because Muslims might cause problems if Jews are allowed there.
Jew-hatred in Egypt is so prevalent that the idea of inviting Jews to an interfaith conference is not a simple matter.
And unless Jews feel as safe in Egypt as non-Jews, there can never be real peace, no matter how many “peace forums” are held.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.